What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
        
 
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  

Resources

   

10 TIPS TO KEEP THE HOLIDAYS FROM STRESSING YOU OUT

     Home  >  Articles  > News & Tips: Health
by NYMetroParents Staff

Related: reduce stress, mental health, holidays, Dr. Mallay Occhiogrosso, Dr. Maria A. Oquendo ,


In the midst of the holiday season, you may find yourself loosing steam and getting stressed. Two psychiatrists from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital share 10 tips to reduce the stress you may be feeling so you can enjoy the holidays more.

woman stressed about the holidaysCrowded shopping centers, visits from long-lost relatives, and the pressure of preparing holiday meals can all summon one universal reaction: stress. The holidays may be the season of love and celebration, but sometimes festivities can become overwhelming.

Dr. Mallay Occhiogrosso, a psychiatrist at the Payne Whitney Clinic at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, says, "Overly high expectations for the holidays—be it around the food, the gifts, or the family relationships—can trigger anxiety and even depression. Prioritizing self-care is important, as well as dialing down those unrealistic 'Hallmark holiday' fantasies."

"During the holidays, our lives become even more stressful as we try to juggle our usual responsibilities with extra holiday preparation and complicated family dynamics," says Dr. Maria A. Oquendo, a psychiatrist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.

Drs. Occhiogrosso and Oquendo suggest that you try to keep your holiday stress to a minimum this year with the following advice:

  • Seek out emotional support. If you have family difficulties, try to plan some time with friends. If you feel isolated, you may want to seek out the support of your community, religious, or social services. If you feel lonely, you might consider volunteering your time at an organization you support.

  • Take a 15-minute break. Fifteen minutes of "alone time" may be just what you need to refresh yourself. Try taking a brisk walk around the block. Exercise is a great stress reliever, and a daily dose of winter sunlight can dramatically improve your mood.

  • Prioritize your time. Understand that you can't do everything, so choose the things that you can accomplish and enjoy. Get input from your family and friends about what it is they would really enjoy doing this holiday.

  • Shop without anxiety. Remember that it's the thought that counts. Don't let competitiveness, guilt and perfectionism send you on too many shopping trips. Create a holiday shopping budget and stick to it, so the holiday bills don't linger after the tinsel is gone.

  • Ask for help. Getting your family and friends involved in the holiday preparations may alleviate the stress of doing it all on your own.

  • Set realistic expectations. Sometimes, expectations for family get-togethers are too high and result in disappointment and frustration. Accept your family members and friends as they are and set aside grievances for a more appropriate time.

  • Celebrate the memories of loved ones no longer here. Holidays can also be stressful as we confront the memories of those who have passed. This can be a normal part of the holiday experience and should be openly discussed and celebrated.

  • Plan ahead. You will have more time to spend doing the things that you really want to do if you set aside specific days for shopping, cooking, and visiting friends. You may also want to plan your menu in advance and make one big shopping trip.

  • Put it all in perspective. Think about what the holiday really means to you and your family: time together, religious observance, reflection on your life and future goals—let these aspects of the holidays keep things in perspective.

  • If you find that your depressed mood lingers, consider getting input from a mental health professional. Rates of anxiety and depression peak during the holidays; you don't have to suffer unnecessarily. Help is available.

These tips can help you to reduce stress and make the holidays a pleasure. Doing less may help you to enjoy the season more, and that is really the best stress reliever of all.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, based in New York City, is the nation's largest not-for-profit, non-sectarian hospital, with 2,409 beds. NewYork-Presbyterian's affiliated physicians and staff provide state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory, and preventive care in all areas of medicine at five major centers: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital, and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division. The Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service.

 


Get Your FREE Indoor Activity eGuide!

More News & Tips: Health Articles

Sick Day: A Plan for When Your Child Stays Home From School
Holtsville Center Focuses on Holistic Healing for the Whole Family
How to Make Halloween a Healthier Holiday in Your Family
Ask the Expert: When to Keep Your Child Home Sick from School
Join the Halloween Candy Buy Back Program to Fight Cavities and Support a Good Cause

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local News & Tips: Health Sponsors

Casa Blanca
400 Halstead Ave
Harrison, NY
914-630-7469
Casa Blanca Tile & Stone is the newest store in We...

Villa Maria School
161 Sky Meadow Drive
Stamford, CT
203-322-5886
The Villa Maria School is a non-denominational, co...

Kids at Art Children's Art Studio & Gallery
1412 Second Ave. (bet. 73rd & 74th Streets)
New York, NY
212-410-9780
...

Performing Arts Conservatory of New York
35-57 89th Street
Jackson Heights, NY
718-639-1425
Performing Arts Conservatory of New York, located ...

Florie's Finales Inc.
82 Lake Ave. S. Unit 10
Nesconset, NY
631-361-6510
Your party is not complete without Florie's Finale...
See Our News & Tips: Health Directory

local zones

Nassau

Nassau cont.

Suffolk

Suffolk cont.

Westchester

Westchester cont.

Fairfield

Rockland

Rockland cont.

Queens

Queens cont.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn cont.

Manhattan

Copyright 2014 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE